Starting in February of 2015, a satirical account on Instagram quickly became a media darling, as Chef Jacques Le Merde (translates as “Jack Shit”) began to poke fun at foodie culture, gathering more than 90,000 followers in less than a year.
Popping the bubble of pretension surrounding haute cuisine, Le Merde parodies trendy plating techniques, where precious bits of nature are arranged with tweezers on plates surrounded with vast expanses of negative space.
Popularized by Noma chef Rene Redzepi, who is best known for his “New Nordic” cuisine, (including a legendary 20 course tasting menu that features bizarre ingredients, such as fried reindeer moss, live shrimps, red ants, carrot foam and sea buckthorn), these tiny portions and outlandish plating devices set the tone for a new generation of chefs and catapulted Noma to the top of “best restaurant” lists worldwide.
“SOMETIMES I CREATE THINGS THAT ARE SO EPIC, IM JUST STRATE UP FLABBERGASTED THAT NO ONE HAS THOUGHT OF IT BEFORE…. CROSS SECTION OF SPICY BEEF JAMAICAN PATTY, PLANTAIN CHIPS, @STHUBERT POUTINE GRAVY FLUID GEL, CHILLY OIL, UTZ MILD CHEDDAR CHEEZE DIP, FROZEN PEAS, LEAFS!!!! WAGWAN EH?!!!!!” (Excerpted from @chefjacqueslamerde on Instagram)
Using junk food staples such as corn dogs, Hot Pockets, Pop Tarts, Bugles and other convenience store fare, La Merde creates artful plates that lampoon the New Nordic style, accompanied by hilarious captions always delivered in ALL CAPS, as if to underscore the enthusiasm his character has for the “soigné,” which means “elegant, or carefully done.”
The plates are gorgeous, but it’s the captions that make me ROTFL with tears streaming down my cheeks. Le Merde’s prose is studded with typos and text-speak, littered with multiple exclamation points and emojis, punctuated by triumphant “BROS!!!!” and “YASSSes” that make the character so charming and lovable.
The result is the most elevated “stoner food” I’ve ever laid eyes on—almost as if Redzepi himself got baked in Colorado and wandered over to the nearest gas station to forage ingredients for a midnight munchie snack. Imagine smoking a huge jay rolled in kief, and then being served a plate of “Rapa Scrapple Tartar, Kroger Mini Pancakes, Pender’s Pork Cracklings, Purple Bitter Lettuce Thing, Pear, Sage, and Some of That Apple Sauce in a Pouch u give 2 Kids.”
Pretty gourmet fare, no?
“LETS BE REAL BROS, OUR BRUNCH GAME HAS BEEN…